By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
On May 1, 2015, workers around the world will celebrate International Workers’ Day and the struggle for a better world. In most every country, workers and oppressed peoples will march in the streets waving red flags. Working class leaders will give powerful speeches about the history and future of the struggle against an unfair system that only benefits the 1%. May Day is an opportunity to celebrate the working class and the bright future ahead for those of us who work and stand against the bosses and companies that exploit us. May 1 is also a day to stand with oppressed nations and peoples of the world who are resisting war and occupation by the U.S. ruling class and its military machine. Freedom Road Socialist Organization (www.frso.org) urges people to march on May Day and host forums about the working class, the need to end the rule of the 1% and to establish socialism – a system where political and economic power is in the hands of the workers.
Here in the United States, mass marches on May 1 were revived by the immigrant rights movement, which turned out Chicanos, Mexicanos, Central Americans and others in the millions in 2006. This movement stopped the hated Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) that would have criminalized the undocumented. This movement also led to the DACA program that has given hundreds of thousands of undocumented who came as children temporary relief from deportation. However the broader Deferred Action is mired in the courts while Congress has taken no action on the masses demand for legalization for all.
May Day remembers the heroic Haymarket Martyrs of Chicago, who in 1886 led the working class in strikes and militant actions against the tiny rich class that oppressed the rest of society. Many of the Haymarket Martyrs were immigrants. They all understood that it’s the job of the working class to put an end to inequality and smash every trace of oppression and exploitation.
Just as it is today, the bosses and big banks of 1886 hated the working class and did everything they could to repress unions and the demand for the eight-hour workday. Those bosses and banksters were part of the capitalist class – the greedy class that owns everything, steals all the wealth we create and wants to keep the workers divided and passive. The capitalists framed up and hung four of the Haymarket labor leaders. Workers became even angrier and made an international campaign to win the eight-hour workday, a victory that the capitalists are still trying to reverse over 120 years later.
Across the country, the working class is under attack. We see this in the struggle earlier this year in Wisconsin when Governor Scott Walker pushed his ‘right to work for less’ law through the legislature. These ‘right to work for less’ laws exist in 25 states now, and it’s up to us to fight against the spread of similar anti-worker laws.
The CEOs and big bankers use the media they own to try to make us believe we’re ‘free.’ But for millions and millions of U.S. workers, there’s no freedom from outrageous hospital bills, mountains of college debt, unemployment, racist police crimes, low-wage jobs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
In the U.S., entire nationalities – African Americans, Chicanos, Hawai’ians and others – are being held in chains. Unemployment, denial of education and voting rights, poverty and racism all affect oppressed communities dearly. Mexicanos, Central Americans and Chicanos have to fight the racist Immigration and Customs Enforce-ment (ICE), which has deported a record number of immigrants under the Obama administration, tearing apart families and entire communities. Local police often cooperate with ICE, while state and local officials try to criminalize the undocumented and strip the history of Chicanos and Latinos from schools.
More people are becoming conscious of the terrible police crimes and vigilante murders that take place in the African American community, especially after the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and many others. Women in the community are not excluded from this violence and repression as we saw in the case of Marissa Alexander. The FRSO stands firm in our conviction that the U.S. is a prison house for oppressed nations, especially for Chicanos and Mexicanos in the Southwest, African Americans in the South, and Hawai’ians.
Many have entered into the fight against police crimes during the biggest rebellion of all in Ferguson after the murder of Michael Brown. While the movement is large and gathering its political bearings, some are looking to the plans of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and their fight to establish a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) for direction. The CPAC promises to strengthen the weaknesses inherent in appointed civilian police review boards and will be at the forefront of a massive rally in Chicago on August 29 later this year. Those who can attend the August 29 rally should do so.
The urban poor and working poor across the country are facing vicious cuts to welfare and their right to basic necessities. The capitalists want to keep the minimum wage low, and these two policies combined have a dis-proportionately bad effect on oppressed nationalities.
We’re fighting and winning in many social movements, but few victories this year are as important as the victory of Rasmea Odeh against political repression. Rasmea Odeh is a longtime Arab and Palestinian community leader who came under attack by the U.S. government, partly because she is connected to the case of the Anti-War 23 (www.stopfbi.net). The movement stopped Rasmea’s immediate incarceration and deportation, but the fight isn’t over. We continue to demand justice for Rasmea and ask all who love peace and justice to follow Rasmea’s case and come to Cincinnati in September for her next court date.
On May 1, 2015 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization wants to express our solidarity to workers and op-pressed people here at home and around the world. Workers and oppressed people in places like Colombia, the Philippines, Palestine, and socialist Cuba are resisting a system that only works by keeping the overwhelming majority poor and powerless. Organization is most important weapon we, the international working class, have.
Stop ‘Right to Work for Less’ Laws!
Legalization for All!
Jail Killer Cops!
Fight for Socialism!